Easy Instant Pot™ Shiitake Mushroom Rice Pilaf
This fragrant shiitake mushroom rice pilaf is redolent with exotic Eastern spices. Its full-bodied flavour makes it an elegant accompaniment to roast or grilled meats. However, thanks to the robust flavour and nutrition of the mushrooms, it is an equally appropriate centrepiece for a rich, vegetarian meal.
Preparing mushroom rice pilaf™ in the Instant Pot™ probably seems counterintuitive. However, in Eastern cultures, where sitting down to a hot, multi-dish communal meal is still the norm, pressure cookers are regularly used for this very purpose. Many Indian households have one (or more) recipes for pressure cooked pilafs which form part of their weekly routines. So, when I started to develop more recipes for the Instant Pot™, I knew I wanted to share at least one recipe for rice pilaf.
If you’ve prepared rice pilaf on the stove, you’ll notice that the texture of pressure cooked Instant Pot™ pulao is more delicate. However, the savings — in terms of time and hassle — on a busy weeknight is more than worth it. Also, for less experienced cooks, successfully preparing pilaf in the Instant Pot™ is much easier!
So, as far as I’m concerned Instant Pot™ pulao is a win-win. You can enjoy a delicious and seriously nutritious pilaf any day of the week with just a few minutes of hands-on effort.
Why Shiitake Mushrooms?
Not only are shiitakes full-flavoured, they’re also packed with nutritional benefits. Believe it or not, shiitake mushrooms are powerful, natural anti-oxidants.
They contain all eight essential amino acids, and linoleic acid. This is an essential fatty acid that supports weight loss and helps build lean muscle. It also supports healthy bones, improves digestion, and reduces food allergies and sensitivities.
So, this delicious mushroom rice pilaf is a terrific way to add more healthy shiitakes to your diet.
About This Recipe
When preparing mushroom pilaf in the Instant Pot™, it’s essential to have everything ready before you even turn on the pot. Once you get going with the pilaf, the action — sautéing — goes really fast. So, having everything lined up next to your pot before you begin makes the task simple, easy, and practically foolproof.
I have chosen to use shiitake mushrooms because of their rich, meaty flavour. However, if you are not a fan of shiitakes or they are not available in your area, please feel free to substitute mushrooms of your choice. Button mushrooms or even rehydrated chanterelles would also be good choices. Just watch as you sauté. The idea is to slightly sear the mushrooms — not to brown them or dry them out.
I have used ghee in this recipe due to its high smoke point and rich flavour. However, if you are a vegan, you can easily use a neutral vegetable oil — such as canola — in its place.
Most of all, I hope this Instant Pot™ recipe makes it easy for your family to enjoy a rich, exotic mushroom rice pilaf — even on hectic weeknights. Bon appétit!